“Not Until We Are Lost Do We Begin to Find Ourselves”

Okay so before I get into the actual topic of this post, here’s a life update. Don’t worry, it’ll give a bit of background to the point:

  • I am still working and living at home. I was planning on staying here until the end of the summer, but that might change, depending on what I decide to do.
  • The reason why I was going to stay at home for the summer was to work at another company here in Cleveland. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work out. So as of now, my plans for the summer are unknown.
  • I do have my summer vacations planned out, though, which is both exciting and pathetic, but I don’t really care because I absolutely love vacations. In May, I’m travelling with a bunch of friends to New York where my friend has a cabin that we’re staying at for five days. I’m so excited to be able to get away and relax with nature for a while. I’m also officially a volunteer for the camp in PA I was talking about! For a full week I’ll be technology-free (for the most part) and again, pretty isolated from civilization, which I am very excited about.
  • I have decided to dye my hair! This is big news because I’ve only ever dyed my hair once and it was only red dye on the tips. This time, I’m getting a balayage from black to brown, and it’s going to look a lot better! I think it’s time for a change.

Speaking of change, this is where we get into the actual topic of this post. Change. Scary, right? Doesn’t seem so scary when you’re encouraging someone else to do it. So why is it so intimidating when it’s happening to us?

Personally, I hate spontaneity. I like having everything planned and ready to go; I like knowing what’s going to happen. Unfortunately, as of right now, I don’t. I feel like this is the perfect to time to make necessary changes in my life, but I have no idea how that will work out for me in the future – and that’s why I’m scared of change.

In “Passion Is Color,” I wrote about how I am working on being more confident in taking the risk to step away from engineering and do something that I actually enjoy. Since then, I’ve thought about it more and more and I think I might be ready to actually take action and rearrange my plans for the future. But there’s still a part of me that’s scared – is that change going to cost me? Or will it be worth it?

The company I was supposed to work with this summer? When they called and said that it wouldn’t work out, I panicked. I had no other plans, I didn’t care to have any other plans, and now, for the first time ever, I have no idea where I’m going with my life.

I got to thinking: I never actually wanted to work at that company this summer. What I really wanted to do was take classes at school and work on campus. My dad convinced me otherwise, telling me that if I stay at home, I wouldn’t have to pay rent. I was sold.

But now that’s not happening. I haven’t told anyone yet (especially my parents) because I need to think about this myself. Mostly, I need to figure out if I’m going to stick with engineering. I’m two years into my college career, it’s now or never. I’m so angry at myself for staying in engineering this long. The problem is that I don’t know what else I would want to do. It’s so frustrating because it seems like everybody else is getting their life right and they all love what they do and here I am, still stuck at making a decision.

This whole situation brings my mood down, and I try to look on the positive side, I really do, but the thought of doing engineering for the rest of my life is unnerving. I just have to figure out which future I want: a happy, unpredictable one or a stable, fake one?

“Not Until We Are Lost Do We Begin to Find Ourselves.” This famous quote if from none other than Henry David Thoreau, American author and transcendentalist. I interpret it this way:

You could definitely say that I’m lost right now. And because I’m lost, my mind is not set on one plan, on one path. I’m a little more open-minded and can weigh my options a little bit better. That’s why this is a perfect time for me to find myself – to find out where I want my life to go. This little period of time where I’m trying to figure out what to do with my summer is my opening.

But again. Change is scary.

The picture I chose is from The Village, which is the camp I’m volunteering at this summer. During my last year as a camper, I went on a hike, as do all 17/18-year-olds at The Village. The plan was to hike seven miles to the campsite, pitch a tent, sleep as much as we possibly could that night, and be ready for the seven mile hike back.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this about myself yet, but I hate working out. I hate running, walking, moving – I would rather drive my car to school than ride my bike, however close it may be. So you can guess how annoyed I was that we were going to be hiking fourteen miles within the next twenty-four hours.

The girls in my cabin also knew the male cabin we were hiking with from previous years – I had not known them as well at that point. I was dreading the awkward conversations that were about to happen. We packed our things and eventually went on our way.

Seven miles? It felt like two. The conversations weren’t awkward at all. In fact, I definitely got to know more about everyone, and there were some deep conversations.

On the way there, we stopped at a ledge – and that’s where I took the picture that you see. The view was breathtaking. We all sat on the ledge, ate our lunches, and just talked. It was a very nice time and definitely worth the walk.

We got to the campsite, pitched a tent, built a bonfire, and sat and talked some more throughout the night. I learned more about every single person there, as well as had a few good laughs.

The next morning, we began our trek back to The Village. I didn’t want to go back. I wanted to spend another three days with these people to get to know them even more.

I stepped out of my comfort zone that day, expecting it to be hell. It was definitely the complete opposite. If I had never gone, I would have never been able to get a glance at the world from up high. I would have never grown closer to any of the other kids.

I try to look at my career situation like that hike. I might be missing a great view if I stick to something I’m not interested in. It’s predictable. But what about the unpredictable? What am I missing out on if I don’t do what I’m not comfortable with? What amazing experiences am I bypassing?

Those are the questions I should be asking.

Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

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